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South Africa outclass Wales in Durban

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South Africa outscored Wales by five tries to one to secure a convincing 38-16 Test victory over an experienced Welsh team in Durban.

Willie le Roux had a hand in three tries and scored one of his own as the Springboks
humbled Wales.

The Cheetahs fullback set up two Bryan Habana scores and also played in franchise
teammate Cornal Hendricks for a try on debut.

Duane Vermeulen scored the other try in a one-sided affair, ensuring the hosts
started their Test season on a high.

Heyneke Meyer’s men, dogged by off-field problems in the build-up, showed little
sign of distraction apart from the opening three minutes when Wales twice delivered
threatening runs on either wing and came away with a Dan Biggar drop goal.

But South Africa settled in thereafter and hit back with a wave of phases,
although they were hampered metres from the line as the visiting defence cleared.

However, there was no stopping France-based Habana when he sharply chased down
Le Roux’s kick-ahead to touch down on the left after seven minutes — the veteran
winger showing a good burst of speed to beat Alex Cuthbert after flyhalf Morne
Steyn’s initial quick ball allowed the fullback to run into space.

Wales then lost Jamie Roberts to a yellow card after the star centre tackled
Le Roux in the air.

And the Boks took full advantage by scoring twice in that 10-minute passage.

First Stormers flanker Vermeulen crashed over, collecting quick ball from Fourie
du Preez, after a drive from an attacking line-out was held up. Le Roux’s brilliant
shimmy then opened up space for Habana to latch onto his pass and skip over
for his 55th Test try.

In between those scores, Bigger had popped over another drop kick when French
referee Romain Poite was playing advantage.

Le Roux then scored an outstanding solo try, chipping ahead from inside the
22 and regathering after the bounce fell kindly for him and not opposite number
Liam Williams, and diving over for the fourth try two minutes from the break.

Although Biggar added a penalty before the changeover, the lead was still a
substantial 19 points.

That was stretched to 22 five minutes into the second half when Steyn, who
kicked six out of six attempts on goal, slotted over a penalty.

Hendricks scored a fifth try of the night when the ball was rapidly switched
from left to right, Le Roux drawing men once again, as the ball was sent wide
to the former to cross.

The Welsh, who scored a disallowed try for a forward pass on the hour, finally
managed a five-pointer with 10 minutes to play as Cuthbert ran from inside his
own 22, brushed off three tackles and ran in under the post.

It was nothing more than consolation, though, as the Boks took a 1-0 lead in
the two-game series.

Final Score South Africa 38 (28) Wales 16 (9)

Scorers

South Africa
Tries – Habana (2), Vermeulen, Le Roux, Hendricks
Pen -Steyn
Con – Steyn (5)
Drop –

Wales
Tries – Cuthbert
Pen – Biggar
Con – Hook
Drop – Biggar (2)

Match Officials
Referee:
Romain Poite (France)
Assistant Referees: Steve Walsh (Australia), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

Teams

South Africa

Willie le Roux; Cornal Hendricks, JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein, Bryan Habana; Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez; Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts, Francois Louw; Victor Matfield (capt), Bakkies Botha; Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck

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